Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Cleaning house

We got home late Sunday night, Rick's mother in tow. (She arrived at the airport an hour before us from her Christmas trip.) The next morning we opened family gifts, then Rick took her to town on his way to work. Brian and I did chores, picked up the dogs from their respective sitters, and practiced violin before he went to a friend's for the afternoon. That gave me a block of time to get to work, first on the travel and holiday detritus, then on vacuuming and mopping (laundry ran all day in the background). I'm still not done, but feeling good about the progress.

Good to be home with my own pups, too.


I've also been cleaning house on my laptop. I have determined that 2017 will be a non-acquisition year; to that end I am unsubscribing from all retail email lists, saved eBay searches, etc. I have everything I need and much, much more, so going a year without buying anything other than consumables like food, animal feed, and toilet paper will not be a hardship. Not that it won't be hard, as I can be as tempted as the next consumer by all that retailers tell me I should WANT-WANT-WANT, especially when deeply discounted – hence the unsubscribing. In addition, the following will continue: divesting myself of what clutters our life, cooking from scratch (and pantry) and making as many gifts (using supplies on hand) as possible.

The exquisite big leaf maple salad bowl my husband made me for Christmas:

Some of the yarn I can look forward to using next year, a birthday gift from a friend:

We live in a culture of conspicuous consumption, shamelessly modeled by our president-elect (see this oft-shared 2010 Trump family portrait, verified as authentic by Snopes.com). But all our STUFF weighs us down, amps up our stress, and drains us of physical, mental, and emotional energy. I want to live what's left of my life as free from those negatives as possible, remembering that "this world is not my home, I'm just a-passin' through" – better to travel light.

Another kind of "traveling light:"


Facing the new year with resolve, at . . .

12 comments:

Mama Pea said...

Dang, I'll have to go some to come up to the level of your very worthwhile and commendable New Year's Resolutions! I'm serious, Michelle. It seems you've put a lot of serious thought into making some changes which will have an impact. Admirable, to say the least. (Guess my "lose 10 pounds" sounds pretty wimpy, huh?)

What a talented wood worker your hubby is . . . beautiful bowl!

Sharon said...

I know where you're coming from and am trying to do the same thing, clean house and donate. I did a lot in the move but need to keep going. I appreciate your post because I know I have more work to be done. That includes the kitchen. Lately I realized I have things I haven't used in years, bowls and pans.

Steve said...

I've been following this blog for a few months now (the Shetland Sheep google search drew me in). I only JUST echoed these same sentiments; it's almost eerie. Perhaps the commercialism and materialism of Christmas this year has been getting to me. Limiting our consumption as a family will be high on the priority list in the coming year.

Goatldi said...

I have been cutting back through moving this farm twice in five years. And I think I have done pretty well. However then there is yarn, fiber, fleeces did I say yarn?

Love the bowl. Cute pups. Have a wonderfilled 2017!

Michelle said...

Yes, Mama Pea, I have been thinking about this a LOT. I don't feel all that admirable, but thanks. And I could stand to lose 10 pounds, too!

Moving is definitely a powerful motive, and something we haven't done since 1995 (except for moving everything a few feet after we built this house in 2002). We can encourage one another!

Nice to "meet" you, Steve! Christmas has never been that "commercial" for us; we spend little for gifts compared to many households. But watching my folks worry about all that they have to divest as they age makes me realize that there is no time like the present to avoid that fate myself.

Aw, yes, Goatldi; we all have those weak areas! ;-) I can't imagine moving this whole farm ONCE, much less twice in five years....

Theresa said...

I'm with you! I am buying a lot less, although not abstaining completely. I go through a lot of fabric. Fabric and fibre have been a solace for me lately, more than ever.

Retired Knitter said...

I have been on a reduce path for a few years anticipating the move that we made this year. You are so right. Less is more. A satisfying goal. Now that we are in a smaller place I need to shrink more. Everything fits but we are 'snug' with belongings and I know I don't need much of it. The other goal is not to allow 'clutter creep'. That goal actually is much harder. Best of luck this year. Glad to watch your progress.

Steve said...

Christmas has never been that commercial for us personally, but one way or another we get pulled in (we had 3 Secret Santas between 3 different groups we're involved in!) I've been enjoying your posts!

Michelle said...

Theresa, solace sources are important. Me, I don't sew, and I have plenty of fiber in stash to keep me busy for YEARS (at the rate I spin), with more growing in the pasture should I run out - ha!

RK, you have done AMAZING work in this department; I can't imagine you have more to do! Your journey has been one of my inspirations; thanks.

Thanks, Steve; I will be visiting your blog to get better acquainted!

A :-) said...

Yes, yes, yes!! As you know, I have been divesting things left and right for quite some time. I'm right with you there on the conspicuous consumption. I love your idea about a non-acquisition year. Not sure I could do it, but I love the idea of it. Gorgeous bowl :-)

Ruth Dixon said...

Been living a more minimalist lifestyle for a couple years now. Still buy more than I should, but I've gotten rid of a lot of things and it feels so much better. Hubby and kids think I've lost my mind. Thanks for the inspiration.

Michelle said...

You, too, have been an inspiration, Annie! I really don't think it's going to be too hard . . . but the year hasn't even begun yet. ;-)

Ruth, I haven't said anything to my hubby and son about my decision, and I KNOW neither of them would want to join in. We can encourage one another here!